Run PB: Where Running (and Walking) Lead to Beer and Friendship

Group Celebrates One Year In Existence


By Jeannette Sanderson

A year ago, during the height of the pandemic, friends Heather Bishop and Francesca Battaglia decided to combine their love of running and beer to form Run PB, a running group with Peekskill Brewery as its home base. Since then, the group has evolved into an ever-growing circle of friends that meets for weekly group runs and so much more.

PB Run co-founders Francesca Battaglia, left and Heather Bishop. 

Forming the group during the Covid lockdown was no accident. “One of the saviors during the height of the pandemic was getting outside to run,” Bishop and Battaglia told the Peekskill Herald. “It was one of the only ways we felt safe seeing friends. We spent a lot of time going on adventure runs ending at outdoor breweries. This got us thinking about starting our own running group and Peekskill Brewery was at the top of our list.”

Bishop, who lives in Peekskill, and Battaglia, who lives in Croton, chose Peekskill Brewery as their home base for several reasons. “It has delicious beer, a gorgeous location, and they had already shown interest in running events with their yearly summer one-miler,” they said. “Peekskill Brewery was super supportive about us getting a group started.”

There were a dozen runners on that first group run on September 2, 2020, but word quickly got around about this fun and safe way to socialize during the pandemic, and the numbers grew. The group has attracted people from all over the Hudson Valley; there are even members who are stationed at West Point. The people who show up each Wednesday have a wide range of athletic abilities and interests that range from ultrarunning to walking. According to Run PB, “This group is about taking time out of your day to enjoy yourself and do something good for you, whether that means busting out some 7-minute miles, cruising on some slower miles (like us!) or taking a walk.”

The first PB Run was September 2, 2020 with 12 runners.

As Run PB celebrates its one-year anniversary, founders Bishop and Battaglia look back on some highlights of the past year. Among them are drinking beer outside Peekskill Brewery in the dead of winter but feeling the warmth of being surrounded by friends; visiting and collaborating with other local running groups; taking field trips to breweries throughout the Hudson Valley; enjoying a club New York Boat Company sunset cruise; celebrating holidays with themed runs; and so much more.

The biggest highlight, however, is the friendships they and all the people who have joined them have made. When they started the group. Bishop and Battaglia aimed to create “a community where you come and immediately feel welcome.” Given the number of people who keep coming back each week, they seem to have done just that.

The running friendships remain constant throughout the seasons. Here the group is at the Gazebo in downtown Peekskill. 

The group meets on Wednesday evenings at six o’clock for their weekly runs. They start at Peekskill Brewery and usually run—though there are some who walk—along the beautiful Peekskill Riverfront for five miles or so before heading back to Peekskill Brewery for post-run drinks.

They meet throughout all types of weather, even taking a trip last night during downpours to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Here they are on the Riverfront Trail, south of Peekskill Yacht Club. 

The group believes the more the merrier, so they encourage anyone who might be interested to join them. They promise to make you feel welcome. “A big part of starting this running group was a desire to create a space where everyone is welcome, and no one is left behind,” Run PB said. There’s an open invitation to show up any Wednesday. There are no dues, and the only commitment required by the group is that you have a good time when you do show up.

If you have questions, you can send a message to the group at @breweryrunning on Instagram. You might want to check there anyway to see photos of beautiful runs along the Peekskill riverfront, friendships being formed and celebrated at Peekskill Brewery afterwards, and so much more.

If you can stick around after the run or walk, Run PB promises you won’t be disappointed. “After the miles we always hang out for a beer (or two!),” they said. And no worries if don’t drink, or you don’t run. “We have runners who don’t drink and even a few drinkers who don’t run!” The founders promise you’ll have fun regardless. “I’ve never met a more fun, welcoming crowd,” Run PB said. The size of the crowd and the smiles on their faces attest to the truth of that.